Overture spurned, Shafie reaches out to Pairin

KOTA KINABALU: After failing to make headway with his bid to engage Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for an electoral pact, Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has reached out to former PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

“I just talked to him as an old friend,” Shafie told reporters when asked about his telephone conversation with Pairin, the founding president of PBS and an adviser to the party led by Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

“We just talked generally about current issues,” he said.

The telephone chat last week between Shafie and Pairin came after Ongkili rejected Warisan’s overtures to work on an electoral pact with PBS in GE15.

PBS is a member of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and has continued to pledge its support for the ruling state coalition amid unhappiness among its senior ranks over the yet-to-be finalised seats to be given to the party.

Shafie said the doors for cooperation with any party, particularly local parties, have not been closed, even if PBS has made it clear that it does not wish to work with Warisan.

“We never close our doors to anyone. However, if you don’t want to work with us, it’s okay, but don’t call us a PTI (illegal immigrant) party,” he said, referring to Ongkili’s reasoning that PBS did not want to work with Warisan because of the party’s perceived association with Sabah’s migrant community.

Pairin has been pushing for Sabahans to support local party representatives in Parliament.

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